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Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion

Male and Female Pine cones, pumpkin blossoms, corn, presidential candidates. All involve males and females.  On November 8th we will have a new President and, as of this writing, we don’t know if it will be a historic first female or another male filling the role.   As I was working with teachers to prepare for fall and winter lessons I began to explore the role of males and females in nature and agriculture.  While gathering pine cones from the farm bureau parking lot (with the intent to discuss conifers), I was intrigued by the varying sizes and shapes of the cones.  Upon further investigation I came to understand the role of the male and female pine cones (who knew?) during pollination and how in spring the female pine cones accept pollen from the male pine cones as it is released through the air. What an interesting connection to our earlier lesson on how corn is pollinated by the male tassel reaching the female silks resulting in those delicious kernels of corn. &nbs ...

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Join the CCFB Young Leader Group and Toy Box Connection Holiday Toy Drive

Make a teenager’s holiday wish come true! The Cook County Farm Bureau Young Leader Group is hosting a holiday toy drive where we collect unwrapped new/gently used toys for children between the ages of 13-19. Item Donations: DVD’s                                        All clean and working toys Puzzles and games                              Video games & systems Books                                     Sports equipment Musical instruments      & ...

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Hot Issues in Agriculture - Chicago Tribune series on pork production in Illinois

Hot Issues in Agriculture | Chicago Tribune series on pork production in Illinois Some of our members may have read or heard about the Chicago Tribune series on pork production in Illinois entitled “The high price of cheap pork”.  The articles focused on facility siting, local resident input, animal welfare, and the environment. The Illinois Pork Producers Association became aware of the development of the series earlier in the year. As a result, the IPPA had multiple contacts with the reporters over the months and helped provide 30+ people to be interviewed. They include farmers, government agency officials, university researchers and veterinarians. Virtually none of the information from those interviews was included in the articles. Both IPPA’s and NPB’s presidents have written letters to the editor of the Tribune regarding the series  and IFB President Richard Guebert, Jr. released a statement to Farm Bureau’s membership regarding the series: PPA Tribune Le ...

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Nominations accepted for Farmer of the Year.

Winners will be announced in the 2018 Farmers' Almanac and will be offered reimbursement for a one-year membership to their county Farm Bureau and a lifetime subscription to the Farmers' Almanac. If you know a farmer deserving of recognition for dedication and hard work, consider nominating him or her for the Farmers’ Almanac Farmer of the Year. Farmers’ Almanac, in partnership with the American Farm Bureau Federation, will honor three farmers. Nominations must be 300 words or less and meet the following criteria: * Supporting the tradition: How long has the nominee been in their field? How did he or she get involved in agriculture and why? * Innovation in agriculture: How has the nominee embraced technology or new ways of farming and ranching? * Community involvement: How has the nominee engaged his/her community to support agriculture and/or teach us more about farming overall? * Inspiration: How is the nominee a true leader in agriculture and why does he or she deserve to be recogniz ...

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Today (March 15th) is National Ag Day!

Today, March 15, is National Agriculture Day... A day to celebrate agriculture! But where would we be without agriculture?

• We would be hungry (Food)
• We would be cold (Clothing)
• We would be wet (Shelter)
• We would be immobile (Fuel)

And so many of us would not be doing what we have the privilege of doing now… because we'd have to farm so we wouldn't be hungry, cold, wet, or immobile!
So take a moment to celebrate Agriculture and its impact on Our Everything, Every Day!


The Will/South Cook Soil & Water Conservation District is currently taking orders for the spring Tree and Fish Sale. Order forms are available on the District Website ~ and can be picked up at the Will/South Cook Soil and Water Conservation District office during business hours.   U.S. Mail, email and fax copies can also be requested by calling (815) 462-3106 x 3. The District has a wide variety of plants, shrubs, and trees available this spring.  Stock ranges in size from 8 inches to 6-foot linear stock, and one, two and three gallon potted stock. Fish varieties for sale include Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Redear, Hybrid Sunfish, Hybrid Redear, Fathead Minnows, Bluegill, Black Crappie, Triploid Grass Carp and Albino Catfish (new).  Grass Carp must be ordered by April 15th. All other orders must be received by Tuesday, April 26th.  Orders are pre-paid only. Tree orders will be available for pickup on Friday, May April 29th, 12:00 p.m. until 6 ...

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Ag Lit Bit by Diane Merrion (Guest Writer...Former Intern Kendall Herron)

Former Intern Spreads Message of Giving We always hope our Ag in the Classroom interns continue to be involved in farm bureau beyond their three month internship at the Cook County Farm Bureau which is exactly what has happened to our 2014 intern, Kendall Herren.  Kendall continues to be an advocate for agriculture, including attending the Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting last month where she took on a personal project she describes below.  My social media feeds always contain a wide array of things ranging from friends nights out or videos of cats doing something funny. A few weeks ago, however, something more than entertainment hopped across my newsfeed. It was a graphic talking about this ‘book bag program’. The program is focused around supporting homeless people and providing them with a book bag filled with items. Things ranging from essentials like shampoo and winter gloves, to simple pleasures such as snacks or candy. In an age of stuff and materialism, I thought t ...

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Cook County Farm Bureau Recognized at Illinois Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

Cook County Farm Bureau Recognized at IFB Annual Meeting The Cook County Farm Bureau was recognized for its achievements during the 101st annual meeting of the Illinois Farm Bureau held in Chicago December 5-9, 2015. A member of Membership Group V, Cook County received the following program awards:   Gold           Silver     Bronze Ag Literacy Legislative/Political Process Local Affairs Communication & Promotion Policy Development   Commodities & Marketing Member Relations   Health & Safety   The organization was also recognized with a gold star for Foundation programming efforts and a b ...

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Illiana Vegetable Growers Symposium set for January 5th

Commercial vegetable farmers and market gardeners can network and gain tips to improve their businesses.
The event will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Time at Teibel's Restaurant, 1775 U.S. 41, Schererville, Ind.

Advance registration costs $25 and must be postmarked by Dec. 16 or completed online by Dec. 23. Participants may register at the door for $30, but will not be guaranteed a meal.

Purdue University and the University of Illinois Extension services collaborate on the program. Speakers include Extension specialists from both universities.

Topics will include new pollinator regulations, the Food Safety Modernization Act, cucurbit insect management and how to eliminate weed competition.

Online registration is available online, by printing the registration form at HERE or by contacting Nikky Witkowski at 219-755-3240 or For other information, contact Liz Maynard at 219-548-3674 or

Ag Lit Bit ...By Nicole Zeien

Czech Out Agriculture Starting on May 24th I embarked on a 2 1/2 week journey to the Czech Republic and surrounding countries. This was a study abroad trip with Oklahoma State Agricultural Education department. Our main location was Prague, Czech Republic. As we flew in I remember asking my friend what the main agricultural product was here in the Czech Republic. We could instantly see fields of canola and wheat. Our host Honza explained to our group that it was used for animal feed more than human consumption. He also explained that they grew sugar beet. As we could see when visiting farms a majority of the fields were for the local farmers. Instead of having commercial operations and growing the crops for resale, the farms would grow the crops to feed their animals. While on our trip we visited a poultry processing plant, a dairy farm, and a Czech red cattle farm. A company called Rabbit owns the poultry plant. They initially started the company to sell rabbit meat, which is popular in the Czech Republic. ...

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